Traditional Versus Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy for Significantly and Chronically Distressed Married Couples

Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.85). 05/2004; 72(2):176-91. DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.72.2.176
Source: PubMed


A randomized clinical trial compared the effects of traditional behavioral couple therapy (TBCT) and integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT) on 134 seriously and chronically distressed married couples, stratified into moderately and severely distressed groups. Couples in IBCT made steady improvements in satisfaction throughout the course of treatment, whereas TBCT couples improved more quickly than IBCT couples early in treatment but then, in contrast to the IBCT group, plateaued later in treatment. Both treatments produced similar levels of clinically significant improvement by the end of treatment (71% of IBCT couples and 59% of TBCT couples were reliably improved or recovered on the Dyadic Adjustment Scale; G. B. Spanier, 1976). Measures of communication also showed improvement for both groups. Measures of individual functioning improved as marital satisfaction improved.

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Available from: David C Atkins, Oct 15, 2015
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    • "; Furrow, Johnson, & Bradley, 2011). Proponents of Behavioral Couples Therapy were the first to attempt to measure therapist fidelity in research on couples based therapies (Christensen et al., 2004). Within the literature, there have been two main ways of defining fidelity: adherence and competence. "
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    ABSTRACT: Data was drawn from 15 sessions of couple's therapy where clinicians attempted to apply the EFT model. Results provide initial support for the Emotionally Focused Therapy —Therapist Fidelity Scale (EFT-TFS) as a reliable and useful measure of fidelity. In addition, results suggest the measure can discriminate effectively (95% correct classification) between low and high fidelity EFT. The findings suggest that certain in-session therapist behaviors (maintaining session focus on attachment and emotion) may be more predictive of high fidelity EFT. Implications regarding the EFT-TFS as a training and practice tool, as well as direction for future research, are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · American Journal of Family Therapy
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    • "The best evidence regarding the efficacy of IBCT comes from the largest randomized clinical trial of couple therapy to date (Christensen et al., 2004). In this study, 134 severely and chronically distressed couples received either BCT or IBCT and were assessed for 5 years following treatment. "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2015
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    • "A stratified random assignment design was used to assign couples within these distress categories to receive up to 26 sessions of either TBCT (68 couples) or IBCT (66 couples). Additional details regarding the procedure used for random assignment to therapy are described in Christensen et al. (2004). Couples were not allowed to receive additional treatment from their study therapist for a period of two years and were discouraged from seeking any other couple therapy right after termination in an attempt to prevent unknown influences on post-treatment outcomes and so that they could consolidate gains PREDICTION OF TREATMENT RESPONSE AT 5-YEAR 13 made in treatment during the study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Building on earlier work examining predictors of short- and moderate-term treatment response, demographic, intrapersonal, communication, and interpersonal variables were examined as predictors of clinically significant outcomes 5 years after couples completed 1 of 2 behaviorally based couple therapies. Method: One hundred and thirty-four couples were randomly assigned to Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT; Jacobson & Christensen, 1998) or Traditional Behavioral Couple Therapy (TBCT; Jacobson & Margolin, 1979) and followed for 5 years after treatment. Outcomes include clinically significant change categories of relationship satisfaction and marital status at 5-year follow-up. Optimal subsets of predictors were selected using an automated, bootstrapped selection procedure based on Bayesian information criterion. Results: Higher levels of commitment and being married for a longer period of time were associated with decreased likelihood of divorce or separation (odds ratio [OR] = 1.39, p = .004; OR = 0.91, p = .015). Being married for a longer period of time was also associated with increased likelihood of positive, clinically significant change (OR = 1.12, p = .029). Finally, higher levels of wife-desired closeness were associated with increased odds of positive, clinically significant change and decreased odds of divorce for moderately distressed, IBCT couples (OR = 1.16, p = .002; OR = 0.85, p = .007, respectively), whereas the opposite was true for moderately distressed, TBCT couples (OR = 0.77, p < .001; OR = 1.17, p = .002, respectively). Conclusions: Commitment-related variables are associated with clinically significant outcomes at 5-year follow-up as well as at termination and moderate-term follow-up.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
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